UTC#3: The Shelter Gap

UTC#3: The Shelter Gap

7 May 2020
Global - Online


Date/Time:                 5 May 2020, 15:30p.m. – 17:00p.m. (UTC +03:00/Nairobi Time)
Partners:                    Compass Housing Services, Habitat for Humanity
Location:                    Webinar on Zoom platform


With more than 1400 cities in 210 countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, an urgent response at many levels is required to protect the most vulnerable in our cities and communities.
UN-Habitat has initiated a specific Covid-19 campaign to engage partners to take action in cities and communities to address the challenges of the pandemic in solidarity with the most vulnerable while building resilience. To help the Campaign achieve this goal, a series of Covid-19 Urban Thinkers Campuses under seven urban-related topics will be organized throughout the months of April and May 2020.

The Shelter Gap

The Covid-19 Urban Thinkers Campus will be on the Shelter Gap.

It is estimated that 1.8 billion people, or more than 20 percent of the world’s population, lack adequate housing. This calls for immediate action is to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the homeless and 1 billion people living in informal settlements or slums.

The UTC on the Shelter Gap brings together key speakers and stakeholders with an interest in addressing urban preparedness to supporting the vulnerable in cities during crises.


Moderator: Christine Auclair, UN-Habitat

14:30-14:35 Welcome and introduction by Bert Smolders

World Urban Campaign Co-chair

14:35-15:20 Urban Thinkers Session

Guiding questions:

  • What are the housing and shelter gaps that communities are facing?
  • What are the proposed solutions?

Speakers (have 5 to 7 min each):

  • Jane Katz, Habitat for Humanity
  • David Adamson, Compass Housing
  • Kathy Kline, Older Persons Partner Constituent Group
  • Lorena Zarate, HIC (tbc)
  • Christophe Lalande, UN-Habitat (tbc)

15:20-15:55 Roundtable (Interactive moderated debate and Q&A session)

  • What are the arising priority actions and commitments?
  • What are the recommendations?

15:55-16:00 Conclusion by the moderator.

This UTC is hosted by: 

About Urban Thinkers Campuses
The Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) is an initiative of UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, conceived as an open space for critical exchanges and learnings between urban researchers, professionals, civil society actors, community-based/grassroots organisations, the media and decision-makers who believe that urbanization is an opportunity and can lead to positive urban transformations that benefit all. It was also intended as a platform to build consensus between partners engaged in addressing urbanization challenges and proposing solutions to urban futures in the context of the New Urban Agenda. This process has helped established alliances between partners and deliver key results on the ground. Since 2015, more than 150 UTCs have been organized, engaging about 45,000 participants worldwide.
About the UN-Habitat Covid-19 Campaign
During the immediate response phase to the COVID-19 crisis, the campaign’s goals are to show-case and advocate on key actions, give a voice to actors at the frontline of the pandemic to share their actions and engage partners to address the challenges in cities and communities. By the end of the pandemic and during the recovery phase, the campaign’s goals are to share lessons learned and promote alliances and initiatives that will help strengthen the future resilience of cities and communities through collaborations, partnerships and on the basis of solidarities.
About COVID-19 Urban Thinkers Campuses
In order to take stock of the multiple responses at different levels and scales by the various actors, there is a need to bring together organizations in order to exchange and learn on the different types of actions and their effectiveness. With the diverse actors and the community of partners it represents, WUC will facilitate this conversation through a series of UTCs in order to:
  • Present current actions on the ground in different contexts;
  • Analyze good practices and solutions in the different domains of action to address and response the Covid-19 crisis;
  • Extract lessons from the crisis and make recommendations for building resilience in cities and communities.
The recommendations will be embedded in The City We Need manifesto version (3.0) entitled: The City We Need in the Post-COVID19 World.
For more information about the UN-Habitat Covid-19 Campaign and how to join visit https://unhabitat.org/